Today is Family History Day!


Although Family History Month comes in October, here’s a chance to jumpstart your family tree project today, June 14 – Family History Day.

What a great day to talk about family history with our families. The summer season is full of reunions, graduations, weddings and other family sharing opportunities.

Here are some ideas:

  • If you are just beginning to track your family history, make sure to interview your parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles. If your children are old enough, have them draw a family tree.
  • What about your family’s traditional recipes? Ask your relatives for their favorites and put them into a cookbook to distribute to everyone. What about a family dinner where the menu offers these traditional dishes?
  • Did you inherit a box of family papers or photos, but haven’t yet opened it? Today’s the day to check out those treasures.
  • Of course, it’s also a great day to start a family site at, or add to it.
  • While facts are what genealogists deal with, family stories – even if they cannot be proven – are also important. While you may not be able to prove the events in that story, make sure to record it somewhere, so someone else can research it.
  • Talk to your children today and share those family stories, look at photographs together, discuss where your family came from, where they immigrated to and where relatives live today around the world. The stories can be funny, embarrassing, sad or even tragic. Make sure to tailor the events to the child’s age.
  • Have you ever thought of making a family time capsule? Ask each family member to write about an event of the past year, add personal items and newspaper stories. Seal the box and mark it with an opening date of a few years down the road.
  • Maybe this is the time to start a family blog, to write about what’s been going on in the family, or let relatives know what you’ve discovered in your research. Ask relatives to share family stories.
  • Show the younger generations where their relatives live – mark the locations on a map and track their immigration routes.
  • Have you received family heirlooms from past generations? Tell your children about them, who owned it, when it was made, what it was used for. Bring the past into the present.
  • If your children are more mature, you might take them to the cemetery to visit ancestors’ graves.

Do you remember what encouraged you to start compiling a family tree? What relative or event ignited and kindled that spark of curiosity? Has MyHeritage provided you with any Smart Matches that have helped you make a family history breakthrough?

We’d like to know your story, so share yours in the comments below.

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  • Alisa Hawkins

    June 14, 2012

    After having my firstborn, I realized how unfortunate it was that he wouldn’t br able to meet my wonderful grandmother. I started to compile don’t photos and write down some memories of her. As more family members had children, I realized that there are also others who wouldn’t know their great-grandparents. What started as a small project has become a life of memories being perserved for our future generations.

  • Alisa Hawkins

    June 14, 2012

    Be* old*

  • Nic Janse van Rensburg

    June 15, 2012

    Wish I had started earlier, my Kenya past just becomes darker and darker

  • Mike Kelly

    June 15, 2012

    I’m a great believer in creating family history for the future generations. I’ve filed away newspapers containing historical moments from the present day – such as the jubilee. Also, I photographed the Olympic Torch in work and filed that away. It is important to keep a file – with written records of your thoughts – of these moments throughout your own life, so any future generations who take on your tree have first hand accounts to relate to. Imagine your 3 or 4x grandchildren reading your first hand accounts the times we live in! Awesome!

  • Rodger Carr

    June 18, 2012

    I had it easy to tract back on my father side of the family. I found out there’s is a book on my family history. The name of the book is The Carr Book by Arthur A. Carr. Now my mother side that’s where I had road block after another.

  • Nic Janse van Rensburg

    September 15, 2012

    Janse van Rensburg Nicolaas Jacobus just disappears after 1947 in Kenya Gazette.